look where you want to go not where you don’t
When I turned 8 I began riding lessons. It would be a dusty, still August afternoon and I would be down in the horse pen brushing and saddling Holly long before the instructor arrived. Then I would lead her up and began to ride. Mostly my instructor had me ride up and down our driveway, a narrow gravel lane. She was working on my control of the horse and my ability to go where I wanted to go, not Holly. Her one piece of advice every lesson was “look where you want to go not where you don’t”.
Later it was learning how to drive and my dad is teaching me the same lesson, to fix my eyes on the disappearing point of the yellow line so my passengars won’t be carsick through my weaving. And every time I drove with his advice in my mind I never ceased to be amazed how true it was.
Fast Forward to my second year as a white water rafting guide for Rock-N-Water. It was a beautiful summer day warm cloudless. It was my first trip of the year on the upper portion of the American rivers South fork and my heart felt as if it couldn’t decide where it belonged in my body. Then later as we were pumping up the boats I realized I was going to be in a bucket boat. Bucket boats are great fun but require slightly different handling than the self balers I was used to and, as their name implies, require a willing person to bale them, often.
The half an hour of work flew by and before I knew it I was in my bucket boat, with an amazing crew headed into our first class III rapid. I loved my crew and wanted them to have the best possible trip down the river, and as far as exciting goes it was awesome all the way to our midway lunch spot. I think I hit every cool looking rock on or under the river and I capitalized on each wave. As we beached for lunch I was ready to cry over my inability to avoid the rocks. Later my Ezer, the guide in charge of the safety and adventure of the day, Curt pulled me aside to discuss my guiding and the next portion of the river. He gave me advice on the general and then said don’t forget you will go in the direction you look. Hah there it was again where I turn my eyes is where I will end up, be it the current or the rock.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
It is easy for me to focus in on all the distractions I ought to avoid but in truth and practice my eyes need to be focused on the living God, author of our salvation.